CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Some Panthers fans suffered more than a loss Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.
Video has surfaced on social media showing fans brawling with each other during the weather delay in the team’s eventual loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It’s not clear why the first punch was thrown, but the fans involved were all wearing Panthers gear.
In the video, posted by Barstool Sports, hundreds of people can be seen gathered around the chaos as men punch and wrestle each other to the ground, at one point even dragging a woman into the melee.
During the first quarter, all players and fans were told to leave the field and stands after lightning strikes were spotted in the area. Fans were moved to the concourse for the 26-minute delay.
It’s not known how the fight started, but Grace Spivak and her mother, Mary Phillips, said they can see how the weather could put fans on edge.
“People's tempers started to rise then because we were getting completely poured on,” Phillips said.
Fans poured into the concourse after evacuating from the stadium bowl.
“No one was moving forward,” Phillips said. “People were lining the walls. They were basically blocking the emergency exits.”
People were stuck with nowhere to go for nearly a half-hour.
“The stadium officials need to have a better plan in mind in the event of an emergency,” Phillips said.
CMPD confirmed officers responded to the fight afterward and detained the two people responsible for the melee.
“Kind of put into a bad situation when you have that many people,” fan Joe Cappelli said.
Cappelli said he's thankful the outcome wasn't worse.
“So, maybe have a better evacuation-type plan for something like that,” Cappelli said.
Statement from the Panthers:
"The people involved in the altercation were ejected and have been banned from the stadium indefinitely. The Carolina Panthers do not tolerate this type of behavior, and we are committed to a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone who visits Bank of America Stadium."
Cox Media Group